Simon Russell Beale to be Cameron Mackintosh Visiting Professor

Simon Russell Beale to be Cameron Mackintosh Visiting Professor

We are delighted to announce that Simon Russell Beale is to be the next Cameron Mackintosh Visiting Professor of Contemporary Theatre, based at St Catherine’s College at the University of Oxford. He succeeded Stephen Fry in February 2015 to become the 24th holder of the Professorship. His inaugural lecture will take place on Monday 2 March 2015.

Actor and music historian, Simon Russell Beale has been hailed as ‘the greatest stage actor of his generation’. A graduate of Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge, and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, his diverse career has spanned theatre, television, film, and radio. He has taken on some of the most distinguished roles in theatre, including the title roles in King Lear at the Olivier Theatre and Hamlet at the Lyttelton Theatre. An Associate Artist of the Royal Shakespeare Company, his many accolades include a BAFTA for Best Supporting Actor in Henry IV Parts I & II and a Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actor in Uncle Vanya. From May to July 2015, Simon will star in Temple, a new play at the Donmar Warehouse about the 2011 United Kingdom anti-austerity protests.

Commenting on his appointment, Simon said ‘I am hugely looking forward to my year as Visiting Professor, and feel very honoured to have been asked. It allows me to indulge, even further, my obsessive interest in Shakespeare and his contemporaries, and I hope that the students I meet will enjoy our working together. I know for certain that I will learn a huge amount.’              

The Master of St Catherine’s College, Professor Roger Ainsworth, said ‘We feel immensely privileged to be welcoming Simon Russell Beale to St Catherine’s, and I am delighted that he has agreed to take on the role of Cameron Mackintosh Visiting Professor of Contemporary Theatre. Simon’s impressive list of stage and screen acting credits span a remarkably diverse career, which has included theatre, television, film, and radio. Our students will be very fortunate indeed to have the opportunity to learn from such a versatile actor.’

The Chair of Contemporary Theatre, founded through a grant from the Mackintosh Foundation at St Catherine's College, aims to promote interest in, and the study and practice of, contemporary theatre. The Visiting Professorship has previously been held by actors, writers, directors, and producers including Stephen Sondheim, Arthur Miller, Alan Ayckbourn, Richard Eyre, Phyllida Lloyd and Patrick Stewart.